The June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season is just around the corner. Early predictions indicate an active year and the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) urges the public to prepare for the heightened flood risks that come with hurricanes and tropical storms.
Flood insurance is essential to help financially protect homeowners and business owners against the devastating effects of flooding.
The spring months have already brought significant flooding to many areas throughout the Midwest, such as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri. Also, the most recent two hurricane seasons have shown how devastating the consequences of seasonal flooding can be, with losses felt well beyond the high risk areas nearest the water.
While coastal states have an increased risk of flooding during hurricane season, it is important to note that flood risks extend far beyond those areas. Some of the most severe flooding has occurred when the remnants of a hurricane or tropical storm system traveled inland, such as Hurricane Irene 2 years ago, producing heavy rainfall hundreds of miles from the coast. For this reason, it is important to have coverage no matter where you live.
“Your homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I. “But, flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a few private insurers. And don’t wait until a storm approaches to consider flood insurance. Typically, it takes 30 days for a policy to go into effect—which means the time to act is now.”
Excess flood insurance also is available from some private insurers for those who need additional coverage above and beyond the basic policy or live in a community that does not participate in the NFIP.
To learn about your flood risk and locate an agent, visit FloodSmart.gov.